Our mayhaws have been blooming for probably two weeks now. Here are some in the county I pass all the time. UGA conducted research on mayhaws at the Attapulgus Research Farm near Bainbridge many years ago and found that the trees would be well adapted to the Southeast. Mayhaw prices right now are almost double what they generally are and folks are showing interest in finding trees and planting a few in the yard. I love eating mayhaw jelly, and some folks around make it.
One of the biggest pest issues we have with mayhaws is a disease called Quince-Cedar Rust. Spores infect the tree at bloom each year and then overwinters on a secondary host of a cedar tree – usually Eastern Red Cedar – after this. Infection takes place one time during the growing season. The first thing to do is remove cedar trees within a quarter of a mile of any mayhaws. If many cedar trees are present, this is not practical. In this case, managing rust with a fungicide program is the best option.
UGA Extension Pathologist, Dr. Elizabeth Little, says that myclobutanil is labeled for this disease and can be applied starting at bloom if this disease has been a problem. Be aware that resistance is common with myclobutanil so the further apart your sprays the better. Spray with myclobutanil no more than two times in the growing season. Another fungicide may need to be used following these treatments. Below is a picture of Cedar-Quince Rust.